By Connor Beach
The friendly service and traditional flavors at the Aegean Grill transport diners from the streets of East Northport to the islands of Greece.
Owner Alex Stathatos’ distinctly Greek heritage provides the authentic backdrop for the food and décor at the Aegean Grill, which he has operated on Larkfield Road in East Northport for the last six and a half years.
Stathatos, who has spent nearly two decades in the restaurant business, imports ingredients from Greece to craft original recipes for a wide range of Greek favorites.
“Everything is homemade here, and customers never leave disappointed,” Stathatos said.
Being in the restaurant business is hard work, but Stathatos said it’s what makes Aegean Grill successful.
“We come in early in the morning to make sure everything is made fresh,” Stathatos said. “We put a lot of love into the restaurant.”
Aegean Grill offers both take-out and delivery in addition to sit down dining options in the restaurant where pictures of Stathatos’ home island in Greece add a personal touch.
The restaurants many regular customers are greeted by the familiar face of manager Anthony Dokas, who said he strives to make the customer experience as good as the food.
In addition to weekly specials like Kabob Night, the Aegean Grill features seasonal specials that keep the menu fresh.
One such special is the Mykonos Salad ($12) featuring mixed greens, cucumber, tomato, onion, goat cheese, beets, granny smith apple and candied walnuts. The creamy goat cheese provides a nice contrast to the sweetness from the beets and tomato, while the apples add texture to the dish. The salad’s fresh Mediterranean flavors are perfect for the warm summer months.
Every Greek restaurant should have a good Hummus ($7) on the menu, and the Aegean Grill does. The chickpea spread has a smooth texture that, when combined with the warm pita bread, makes this traditional Greek dip the perfect start to a meal.
Another traditional Greek appetizer is the Grilled Octopus ($18) that features lightly char-grilled baby octopus drizzled with olive oil and oregano. The delicate octopus retains the charred flavor from the grill while staying moist and tender on the inside. The oil drizzle infuses into the meat and adds brightness to the light flavor of the octopus. The dish is difficult to get right, but Aegean Grill definitely does just that.
The classic Fried Calamari ($12) features lightly battered squid that is fried and served with marinara sauce and lemon. The dish is simply prepared, yet still flavorful. The light batter adds just the right amount of crunch while still allowing the taste of the calamari to shine through.
Our Foodies were lucky enough to get an entrée featuring a sampling of several favorites including Lamb Souvlaki ($19.95), Chicken Souvlaki ($16.25), Greek Fried Potatoes ($7) served with feta cheese and oregano and Fried Pita. The lamb and chicken were both well seasoned and tasty, and paired well with the acidity from the Tzatziki sauce. The potatoes offered a Greek twist on traditional French fries, while the fried Pita bread had a nice crunch, but retained its warm, soft interior.
One of the stars of the Aegean Grill’s menu is the Lamb Shank ($20) served with a side of orzo and topped with red sauce. The well-cooked lamb falls off the bone and melts in your mouth. The rich red sauce is bursting with tomato flavor and provides a good base for the dish that compliments the flavor of the lamb.
Lastly, our Foodies had the opportunity to try several traditional Greek desserts including Galactobourico ($5.25), Baklava ($5.25) and Greek Yogurt. The pastries are made fresh at the Aegean Grill, and the decadent yogurt is a perfect way to finish the meal with a Mediterranean flare.